You’ve booked your first post-pandemic massage session! Now what?
While you’re probably looking forward to your session with a mix of excitement and anticipation, throwing a bit of awareness into the mix will set you up for a successful reentry to bodywork. Specifically, this means creating an awareness of what you really need and want from the session and what your body is ready for.Your Mental Checklist
1. Check in with yourself
Do an emotional and physical check-in before your session. How would you describe your current state of wellness and what are your needs and wants for your bodywork session?
My guess is, what you want from your upcoming session will be different than what you asked for at your last pre-pandemic session. The events, emotions, and experiences of the past year may have you wanting a session focused more on stress relief than deep-pressure muscle work.
2. Take it slow when you return
Speaking of deep-pressure muscle work, be aware that your physical body may not be ready for the same level of pressure you received in previous sessions. You may want to ask your practitioner to start with a lighter pressure to see how your body responds. Too much too soon after so long may have the opposite effect than what you’re looking for and leave you feeling sore and disappointed.
3. Be open to the outcome
Lastly, embrace the awareness that your response to your session may not be what you think it will be. Your body may only be ready to tolerate light touch. Or it might be ready for deep pressure. You won’t know until you’re receiving the work. Communicate with your therapist throughout the session to adjust as needed. You may cry. Or laugh. You may let out a deep sigh of relief. And you just might do all three! If you let yourself be open to how the session—and your physical and emotional responses to it—unfolds, it will be a wonderful return to bodywork.